The sad news of yet another building collapse has reached the National Secretariat of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners. While similar incidences are numerous across the country, the reported collapse on Thursday April 30 , 2020 of an eight storey building under construction at Yar Adua Drive, New Owerri when the nation is battling the COVID 19 pandemic is very disheartening.
On behalf of the National Council and entire Membership of the Institute, I extend our deepest condolences to the families of the workers who lost their lives as well as Government and good people of Imo State. We implore the Imo State Government to immediately set up a panel of enquiry. The membership of which should comprise major stakeholders in the built environment especially the professional bodies. All found culpable should be made to face the law.
While we await the outcome of the investigation, may I use this opportunity to remind the State Government that the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law , LFN 2004 , CAP N138 (NURP) which is the backbone of physical planning and development in Nigeria has still not been domesticated as part of laws of Imo State. The Law provides for the establishment of an effective administrative structure and preparation of development plans and enforcement instrument to prevent building collapse and enhance sustainable development There is also the imperative need to review the Owerri Capital Development Authority Edict in line with the NURP Law especially as it relates to the composition of the Board.
We are confident that going forward, the right thing will be done for the people of Imo State as far as physical planning and development is concerned to avoid future occurrence.
God bless Imo State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Tpl Lekwa O Ezutah , FNITP PhF